An online user recently asked for advice on dealing with her serially unfaithful husband, who supposedly fell prey to a Chatroulette online scam. He had been paying the site’s cam girls for over six months and claimed they attempted to blackmail him in exchange for not revealing their relationship to his wife.
After this alleged blackmail attempt, the family’s credit cards are suddenly being used for unauthorized purchases, including items purchased using their Amazon account that is being sent to the family home.
She is separated from her husband but seeks guidance on what to do next. Some of the best advice she received from other users included:
1. Self-Care is Very Important
Prioritize taking care of herself by contacting her support network, meeting a friend for coffee or dinner, taking long nature walks, and seeing a therapist.
2. Get Those Financial Ducks in a Row
Quietly gather as much documentation as possible about the household finances, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, and lines of credit, then secretly arrange a visit with a good divorce lawyer. She needs to know the current state of her family’s finances, and her spouse has already proven himself to be dishonest and unreliable.
3. Cancel Bank Cards
Cancel all the bank cards since she has no idea which ones were compromised. This protective measure can protect her from being saddled with a fraudster’s debt.
4. Open a Post Office Box
Open up a post office box in her name only. Do not let her husband know about the box, much less give him a key to access it. She needs to think about her and her children’s financial security.
5. Close Existing Bank Accounts
Close existing checking and savings accounts, explaining that they may be used for fraudulent activity by online scammers. Open new accounts, preferably with a different bank, so she’ll have all new accounts and routing transit numbers. Use her post office box as the mailing address for these new accounts.
6. Use Caution When Banking Online
If she does online banking, do not use the login and password combination you typically employ. Create all new logins and passwords. Do not write them down where her husband can find them. She should memorize them if possible.
7. Use Apps to Protect Login Information
Use a dual-factor authentication app to keep her husband and other unauthorized users from accessing her accounts. Dual-factor authentication is an extra step that can save her a lot of hassle down the road.
8. Use an Alternate Address
If her new bank doesn’t accept a post office box address, ask a trusted friend or relative if she can use their address to have all of her banking mail sent. Some private companies that offer post office boxes also provide street addresses to consumers.
9. Contact the Credit Card Companies
Contact her credit card companies, dispute any suspicious charges, and cancel the credit card accounts. Do not request new cards because the companies will transfer the charges to the new card. Close the Amazon account and start a new one her husband cannot access.
10. Beware of Spouse
“The scam is coming from inside the house.” This may be her husband lying (again) to cover up or minimize the extent of his involvement in the alleged online romance scam activity. It may also be the best piece of advice on this thread.
What do you think? Have you heard of or been a victim of the Chatroulette Skype Scam?